Guiding principles

Since we began to talk publicly about our project in December 2017 we have carried out further technical work, held three public consultations and talked with landowners, residents, prescribed bodies and organisations to help us better understand views on our proposals.

Our development of the replacement underground pipeline project took place in three stages:

  • Developing pipeline corridors (a corridor was an area typically 200m wide which allowed the design of one or more route options)
  • Developing a pipeline route (a single path for the replacement pipeline, typically 20-30m wide)
  • Refining the pipeline route design and identifying locations for the temporary logistics hubs, ahead of our application for development consent

At every stage a public consultation was held so that we could understand the views of potentially affected individuals, communities, prescribed bodies and organisations, and meetings took place with local authorities, parish councils, environmental bodies, third party infrastructure owners and landowners to understand local environmental features and engineering challenges.

We applied a set of guiding principles throughout each stage of the project. Our guiding principles favour a route that:

  • if possible, benefits from existing equipment (infrastructure) and relationships with landowners;
  • is likely to have better environmental outcomes versus the other alternative options, especially relating to internationally and nationally important areas along the final route;
  • will provide social and economic outcomes of greater benefit;
  • if possible, passes through less complex areas and avoids built-up areas;
  • achieves compliance with National Policy Statements; and
  • can be installed in a timely and realistic manner at reasonable cost.

How your feedback informed the route

Information from landowners, residents, businesses, prescribed consultees and organisations has been essential to the development of our project:

  • We presented several corridor options from which we were able to select a preferred corridor.
  • The preferred route followed the preferred corridor and contained a number of sub-options. Feedback from the
    consultation helped us to confirm our proposals for the project along the majority of the pipeline route. It also helped us to select which sub-options to progress.
  • In some areas, consultation feedback and additional knowledge helped us identify where we could further amend our design and we presented these design refinements for further consultation.

Responses to our design refinements consultation, along with further technical work, informed the final route for the
replacement underground pipeline. The final route includes amendments that have been made in light of some of the
feedback that was received:

  • the removal of the compound within the grounds of Farnborough Hill School as it would impact the school, and the cultural and environmental features of the site
  • amending our plans to use an existing access track in the Blackwater River Valley
  • amending our order limits (the outer limits for the project, including the route and any temporary working areas that would be required to install the pipeline) in Chertsey to avoid an approved development
  • the removal of the compound along Ashford Road, where residents were concerned about its impact on nearby

Selecting the most appropriate route

We feel, with the information that was made available to us, we have balanced environmental, engineering, planning
and social/community concerns in our selection of the final route. We are confident we have selected the most
appropriate route for the replacement pipeline based on the project’s guiding principles.

You can see the final route on our interactive map.